ONUS ON MINISTER TO CARRY OUT RIGOROUS INVESTIGATIONS BEFORE MAKING AN ALLEGATION OF FRAUD AGAINST APPLICANTS
In the judgment of Mr Justice Max Barrett in the case of Jaysheering Saneecher and Nikolajs Samkovs V The Minister for Justice and Equality delivered on 5th May 2021 it was concluded that:
‘an investigation resulting in a determination that an application is fraudulent must be rigorous’
In this case, the Minister had disputed several facts which had been submitted by the applicants in their EU Treaty Rights application and therefore it was refused on fraudulent grounds.
In response to this Mr Justice Barrett commented that:
‘an error on a payslip could not, by itself, reasonably ground the serious finding that the applicant’s application was fraudulent.’ and that ‘the Minister’s investigation process in this regard was disproportionately lacking in rigour and did not yield a safe finding.’
Furthermore, Mr Justice Barrett was critical of the Minister’s failure to conduct a proportionality assessment and stated that:
‘a blanket cessation of any EU treaty rights presenting – is utterly dis-proportionate.’
This is a welcome judgment which reiterates that there is a strong onus on the Minister to carry out a rigorous and thorough investigation before making an allegation of fraud in an EU Treaty Rights application.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if you are affected by this notice or by the matters raised in this blog.